Excess Estrogen and Hormonal Imbalance

March 22nd, 2011

Hormonal imbalances occur from both altered estrogen metabolism and increased environmental exposure.  Estrogen is metabolized by the liver into the metabolites 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OHE) and 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone (16-OHE).  The ratio of 2:16 can be measured in the urine and is a valuable tool for assessing estrogen metabolism and risk of cancer re-occurrence.  An increase in 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone relative to 2-hydroxyestrone has been found to increase risk of breast, prostate, cervical, ovarian and laryngeal cancers.  Therefore, the higher the ratio of 2:16, the better the estrogen metabolism of the patient.

You can decrease your exposure to estrogen by eliminating oral birth control pills and synthetic hormone replacement therapy which are known to increase 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone.  Avoiding dietary estrogens that are in commercially grown meats and dairy products.  Reduce exposure to environmental estrogens like Bis-phenol A by avoiding the use of plastics as food and water containers.  When the liver is not properly breaking down and metabolizing estrogen, a re-circulation effect occurs that produces symptoms of hormonal imbalance.  This re-circulation can be treated and eliminated by repairing disturbances in gut microflora with probiotics and treating constipation if it is an issue.

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